Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Turtles return to a beach that was once the dirtiest in India

For a long time, Mumbai’s Versova Beach was considered the most waste-ridden beach in India. In recent years, however, enthusiastic volunteers have decided to transform the situation. Their success is demonstrated by the fact that turtles have returned to the beach – for the first time in decades.

As the local population had used this coastline as an illegal waste dump for decades, a few years ago the area looked much more like a landfill than a beach. Afroz Shah, a young lawyer, finally had enough of the eyesore: in 2015 he teamed up with a few friends and began to clear up the waste on the beach.

As the weeks went by, increasing numbers of locals joined in the effort, although they were practically attempting the impossible. Thanks to their perseverance and the press coverage about their work, a few months later more than a thousand volunteers were clearing waste at Versova Beach (including employees of local companies, schoolchildren and even Bollywood film stars).

An inspiring video about clearing waste from Versova Beach Video: YouTube/Great Big Story

The end result is almost unbelievable: the enthusiastic citizens have removed almost ten thousand tonnes of waste from the beach, and they still keep on cleaning it to maintain its new condition. The UN has called the initiative “the world’s largest beach cleanup project” and it has awarded the Champion of the Earth prize to Afroz Shah.

The best evidence of their success is that in 2018, Olive Ridley turtles have returned to nest at the beach.

After twenty years, turtles return to Versova Beach Video: YouTube/The Quint (Photo on the opening page: www.mumbailive.com)
Further information: The Guardian

Using sunlight to clean water

Researchers at the University of Szeged are working on a nanotechnological water treatment device. Their innovation may provide clean water for millions worldwide in the future.

Leonardo DiCaprio helps create new environmental alliance

Leonardo DiCaprio, the Hollywood star famous for his environmental activism, has joined billionaire investors and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth to found a new non-profit world organisation for environmental protection.

World’s largest floating solar park to be built in Singapore

Solar farms installed in agricultural areas and solar panels fitted to the roofs of buildings are no longer a rarity these days. Their efficiency, however, is not optimal, and occupying crop land isn’t a very practical solution, either. In China and Singapore, attempts are being made to maximize the production of renewable energy by using waterborne, floating photovoltaic power generation systems.

The UN Secretary General urges immediate action to avoid a climate catastrophe

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, UN Secretary General António Guterres emphasised that the process of climate change is happening faster than predicted.

The worst ocean polluting countries to join the effort to eliminate waste

The ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to adopt a joint declaration to combat marine plastic waste.

DiCaprio sends the message again: we are still on track to destroy our world

Only a few years after the brutally honest documentary Before the Flood, a new film has been made, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, about the shocking consequences of global warming. Ice on Fire seeks to find out whether we can still reverse the impact of climate change.

Costa Rica sets an example

The Central American country has been a paragon of environment-friendly governance for decades. It has set the ambitious goal of phasing out fossil fuels altogether by 2050.

Global temperature may rise by as much as 3 degrees

Due to the insufficient commitments of governments so far, global temperature may increase by twice the tolerable amount, 3 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century relative to the preindustrial period, warned UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

Extensive cooperation to stop marine pollution

At their meeting in Japan, the environment ministers of G20 countries agreed on a global framework for the introduction and application of measures to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste pollution.

German cities declare climate emergency

During environmental and climate emergencies, local decision-makers must place an even greater emphasis on the principle of ecological sustainability in their decisions.